A remnant of a memory fleets across my mind—gardenias and the lush body of a woman beneath me. But it’s gone before I can examine it for further clues. Is it her? No. It can’t be. I didn’t detect a floral scent in her office, and in that confined space, I would have noticed. Wish I could remember her. She’s lovely, truly lovely. Mounds of dark hair, green, green eyes. And curves plump enough to get a rise out of a dying man.
Ironic, I know.
I’d schooled my features to reveal nothing when I met her today, for I didn’t want my face to give away my thoughts. Still, I’d hoped for something, anything, to clue me in to the woman who, according to Bri, captivated me in a way she’d never witnessed before. But when I saw Ms. Watson, I felt . . . nothing. Not even a spark. I was disappointed, but not surprised.
Two months after the accident, and I still have major holes in my memory, with Elizabeth Watson being the biggest one of all. With careful coaching by Miranda Stone, whom I was forced to take into my confidence, I managed to recall and understand enough of the SouthWind deal to muddle through today’s closing and interview. When the article and photos make the business papers, everyone will think I have things under control when quite the opposite is true. I’m half the man I used to be. Mentally, emotionally, physically.
Even though I abhor the wreck I’ve become, the accident turned out to be a blessing in disguise, for the head injury prompted the doctors to take a serious look inside my head. They discovered tumors, non-cancerous, but still large enough to cause the migraines. If they hadn’t been removed, they could have proved fatal. Hell, they would have proved fatal the day of the crash, but for whatever guardian angel watched over me that fateful night.
While I convalesced in hospital, barely aware of my name, much less anything around me, Bri resisted the Countess’s efforts to wreck the SouthWind deal. Without my sister, everything I’ve fought for the last few years would have been dismantled. So I can’t very well yell at her over her decision to withhold information about Elizabeth Watson until a week ago. Not when she did it because I had enough to deal with at the time. A broken leg, amnesia, various bodily injuries. The night of the car wreck my blood alcohol content was way beyond the legal range. So I have no one to blame but myself for the state I’m in.
My mobile rings. Brianna.
“Darling, how are you?”
I’m not about to share my level of pain. “Fair to middling.”
“Leg still hurting?”
“Yes, but it’s manageable.” Only through the combination of liquor and drugs.
“How was the closing?”
“We’re now the proud owners of the rights to develop the Brazilian Storm Industries Wind Farm.” I knock back the rest of the scotch. “Is everything in order for your trip?” Along with Jake Cooper, my head of security and her own personal bodyguard, Brianna will travel to Brazil to perform the necessary leg work before the construction project can begin. Even though SouthWind shared their reports, she needs to perform her own investigation and plan the best way to erect the wind turbines which even now are being built by one of our subsidiaries. The new machines will withstand wind forces of near hurricane strength making them superior to the current ones manufactured by other plants and making us the place to go for new wind power generators.
“Yes, but I can put off our departure date for a week if you need me.”
“I’m fine, Brianna.”
“Are you sure, Gabe?”
“Yes, darling girl. You’ve taken care of me long enough, now go do what you love to do.”